Samuel Jessup (1763-1827), Thomas Jessup's father, was born in South Hampton, Long Island and later relocated to Florida, New York where he and his older brothers set up a successful tanning business. At 23, Samuel married Rebecca Armstrong (1763-1842) the daughter of a nearby farmer. The Armstrong family had emigrated from Northern Ireland in 1727. According to early census records, Samuel and Rebecca were slaveholders.
Thomas Jessup was one of the six children born to Samuel and Rebecca. Amzi, Thomas's oldest brother, is mentioned in several of the letters. Rebecca Jessup, outlived her husband by 15 years, making an independent living as a butter maker. In fact, her butter was so sought after that she only sold her products to private customers in New York.
At the age of 24, Thomas Jessup married Gertrude Bogardus Deyo (1817-1844). Their marriage lasted only ten short months when Gertrude died 17 days after the birth of their daughter, Gertrude. After Gertrude's death, infant Gertrude, went to live with her grandparents, Judge and State Senator Abraham A. Deyo (1793-1873) and Margaret T. Deyo (1792-1860). Four years later, Thomas married Gertrude’s cousin, Leah Catharine Deyo. Leah mentions little Gertrude visits several times in her letters. Sadly, little Gertrude died of scarlet fever at her grandparents residence in Plattekill on the 10th of March, 1850. Gertrude did not live to see her sixth birthday.
The image on the left is the home of Judge Abraham Brodhead Deyo and his wife, Margaret T. Deyo, located in Modena, New York. It was the house where little Gertrude Deyo, Thomas Jessup's daughter, lived and died. It is located just north of the Modena Rural Cemetery.
Gertrude's tombstone at the Modena Rural Cemetery.